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Gig: Bananarama

Edinburgh Castle Esplanade – 20 July 2018

Last Friday was real fun. The drizzle had just about stopped as evening approached. The temperature, in Scotland’s capital, was warm enough for everyone to wander outside in clothes that are usually reserved for our Mediterranean vacations. High in the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade stands, one portly gentlemen decided to entertain everyone with an impromptu striptease. Thankfully this was hastily stopped by security personnel, much to the relief of onlookers. Down at ground level, audience members who were clearly old enough to know better, had obviously been partaking in a lot of refreshment during the afternoon. Many were trying, and failing, to remember the dance moves to the sounds that filled the air. The one common theme that bound us together was that, like Robert de Niro, we were all waiting for Bananarama to take to the stage.



This concert, part of Bananarama’s current tour, was promoted as a chance to see all three original members of the band – Sara Dallin, Keren Woodward and Siobhan Fahey – together, possibly for one of the last times. I’d even persuaded a friend from London, Mat, to journey up and join me for the evening. And before we knew it, there they were on stage singing Nathan Jones accompanied by a routine that hasn’t changed in 30 years. This set the tone for the whole evening. It was camper than Christmas. All their hits – Aie a Mwana; Shy Boy; Really Saying Something; Cruel Summer; Rough Justice; Trick of the Night; Venus; I Heard A Rumour; Preacher Man; Guilty; Love in the First Degree; to name just a few. Relentlessly pumped out at us, one after another. And we loved it! A thoroughly enjoyable romp through the 1980s and 1990s.


Mat knew everything there was to know about Bananarama: songs; albums; facts. I felt such a lightweight in comparison. I mentioned, at one point, that Sara looked and sounded a little like Jennifer Saunders. And we both agreed on that. We liked the on-stage chat between the girls – the requirement for more personal dance space; wanting a stool to sit on; a wish for more recovery time between songs; clarifying that something said was in English, and not in French; their invitation to the audience for song requests, but only the ones that were on the list. All very light-hearted and proving that the band’s humour and naughtiness is still sharp and intact. 

Mat knew everything there was to know about Bananarama: songs; albums; facts. I felt such a lightweight in comparison. I mentioned, at one point, that Sara looked and sounded a little like Jennifer Saunders. And we both agreed on that. We liked the on-stage chat between the girls – the requirement for more personal dance space; wanting a stool to sit on; a wish for more recovery time between songs; clarifying that something said was in English, and not in French; their invitation to the audience for song requests, but only the ones that were on the list. All very light-hearted and proving that the band’s humour and naughtiness is still sharp and intact. 

For me, a nice final touch was when everyone spontaneously broke into a rendition of Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye) as we left the castle and made our way towards the bars and clubs of Edinburgh. It underlined what a sensational evening we had all just enjoyed.

Bananarama site